A reader suggested that the dharma taught in the Bhāgavatam cannot be isolated from varṇāśrama dharma, as the word ‘dharma’, as used in the Bhāgavatam, carries the same meaning and connotation as in any other śruti [i.e. the Vedas]. But does Śrī Jīva Goswami agree with such a […]
Question: I have been told to chant 16 rounds of the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahāmantra or 16×108 mahāmantras everyday. Is it mentioned in the śāstra that this should be done? Answer: I am not aware of any prescription in the śāstra to chant 16 rounds everyday. Question: Where does […]
This article is motivated by a reader’s comment on a previous article. It was proposed that anyone who succeeds on the path of bhakti must have been part of the three varṇas – brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya or vaiśya – in a previous life. I responded with the example of […]
Śrī Babaji answers questions in Pearls of Wisdom Question: What is dīkṣā? Does it refer to getting Hari-nāma and taking a different name? Or does it refer to getting brāhmaṇa initiation, when one gets the Brahma Gāyatrī? Answer: There are three levels of dīkṣā, namely, harināma-dīkṣā, mantra-dīkṣā, and veśa- […]
The Caitanya tradition, being based squarely on the Bhāgavata purāṇa, has a different understanding of bhakti as compared to other Vaisnava traditions such as the Madhva tradition or the Śrī Vaisnava tradition. Unlike these other traditions, in the Caitanya tradition, bhakti and varṇāśrama are two different or distinct […]
Maharajji answers questions in Śrī Guru Darśanam, pp. 249-250 Question: What are the qualifications for someone to do this līlā-smaraṇam? Answer: The qualification for smaraṇam is that one should be free from the identification with the body and the senses. If one identifies with these things and does līlā-smaraṇam, […]
Chanting the Hare Kṛṣṇa mahā-mantra is the main sādhānā in the Caitanya tradition. Incredibly, the vast majority of chanters get the mantra hopelessly wrong.
We hear that the gopīs are married to the gopas, and not to Kṛṣṇa. The gopīs accept Kṛṣṇa as their lover, or paramour. Isn’t this highly immoral? Many bhaktas think that the topic is beyond discussion given the conditioned nature of the jīvas and therefore is not to […]
Given the profusion of gurus in the world, all modern seekers are faced with a vexing question – how can one identify a genuine guru?
Some days ago, I wrote this article, explaining that the guru cannot take anyone’s karma. To this, a reader quoted the following verse which comes at the beginning of the Haribhakti-vilāsa written by Śrī Gopāla Bhatta Goswami and commented on by Śrī Sanātana Goswami. sāra-saṅgrahe’pi—sad-guruḥ svāśritaṁ śiṣyaṁ varṣam […]
A surprisingly common misconception among modern adherents of Caitanya Vaiṣṇavism is that the guru ‘takes’ one’s karma. At the time of initiation, the guru is imagined to take on all karma of the disciple, akin to how Jesus takes the sins of his followers. From thereon, the guru […]
The line of Paṇḍit Goswami